Nov. 19 (UPI) — The novel Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart was named the winner of the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction on Thursday night.
The panel of judges awarded the literary prize for the best original novel written in the English language and published in Britain to Shuggie Bain, Stuart’s first novel which is based on his own childhood growing up in Glasgow in the 1980s as his mother battled addiction.
“Shuggie Bain is destined to be a classic — a moving immersive and nuanced portrait of a tight-knit social world, its people ad its values. The heart-wrenching story tells of the unconditional love between Agnes Bain — set on a descent into alcoholism by the tough circumstances life has dealt her — and her youngest son,” said Margaret Bubsy, 2020 chair of judges for the award.
Stuart, 44, was awarded about $66,000 as well as a trophy, a designer-bound edition of the book and about $3,000 for being shortlisted for the prize.
During his acceptance speech, Stuart described himself as “absolutely stunned” that he won, thanking his mother, who died when he was 16 years old, saying she was “on every page of this book.”
“I’ve been clear without her I wouldn’t be here, my work wouldn’t be here,” he said.
He also thanked “the people of Scotland, especially Glaswegians, whose empathy and humor and love struggle are in every word of this book.”